Wednesday, 14 July 2021

C'River State can be an Entrepreneurship Hub in Nigeria - Ben Akak

Emeka Onyebuchi | 14th July 2021 

ENUGU - Cross River State is greatly endowed by nature and possesses all the basic requirements to drive entrepreneurial activities that will catalyze the economic growth of the State and Nigeria at large. This is the view expressed by Engr. Ben Akak, a businessman and politician from the State. He posits that all that is remaining is to fine tune other relevant aspects like basic utilities,  infrastructure and access to finance to support the natural endowments and opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and development.

Engr. Akak made this known during a courtesy visit on him by a group of aspiring entrepreneurs from the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State in his office in Calabar. He highlighted that entrepreneurship is important for a number of reasons, from promoting social change to driving innovation. He further revealed that research has shown that entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated, and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. In fact, some of the most developed nations such as the United States are world leaders due to their forward-thinking innovation, research, and entrepreneurial individuals.

Engr. Akak, himself a successful entrepreneur with his Bengies Group of companies, added that great entrepreneurs are change agents as their innovations tend to transform the way we live and work, improving the standards of living, while creating wealth with job opportunities for the teeming unemployed population thus contributing to growing the economy. According to him, the importance of entrepreneurship should not be understated.

For Ben Akak, the rich natural endowments of Cross River State ranging from the rich and vast landscape fertile for commercial agriculture to the mineral deposits that still remain largely untapped, even up to the regular tourism and ecotourism potential present huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to latch on to. He, however, noted the challenges that have so far discouraged the growth of entrepreneurship in Cross River State to include the significant infrastructure deficit (which include the poor state of our roads and highways plus insufficient and unstable power supply), difficulty in accessing capital, low level of technical know-how, social factors etc.

He acknowledged the industrialization drive of the current administration of Gov. Ben Ayade in the State and opined that a follow-up process of awakening and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of Cross Riverians will be necessary to achieve the desired results. This, according to him, can be done through a deliberate policy that seeks to improve on the state of infrastructure and access to finance. As an entrepreneur himself, Ben Akak is convinced that he knows just the right things to do to turn Cross River State into and entrepreneurship hub not just in Nigeria but the West African subregion.

Ben Akak aspires to be the next Governor of Cross River State come 2023. He comes across as a breathe of fresh air, brimming with ideas that bring far reaching solutions to contemporary challenges facing the State. From what I have seen and heard, it is clear to me that Cross River will certainly be in safe hands with Ben Akak as Governor.  

Emeka Onyebuchi is a freelance media practitioner based in Enugu.